In 1 Peter 3:1-4, we learn about all kinds of attitudes and attributes that make a Christian wife a godly wife — the kind of wife she ought to be.
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" (v. 1).
God has given headship in the home, and God has made the husband the head. That doesn't make the wife inferior. It doesn't make the husband superior. This idea that if we're in submission to somebody we're inferior is plain false.
According to 1 Corinthians 11:3, Christ has authority over every man. There is an order to God's authority. First God the Father, then God the Son, then man, then woman.
Is the woman inferior to the man because she is under him? Of course not. We worship one God who has revealed Himself in three persons, all equal, all one in essence. Jesus' submission doesn't make Him inferior to His Father.
It's not a matter of equality. Everybody knows that women and men are equal (see Galatians 3:28). With God there is no respect, or favoritism, with persons, race, or face. We are one in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Men and women are equal; they are not the same. It is the devil's attempt to make modern men and women alike under the guise of making them equal. God made us different, that He might make us one. For our differences attract us to one another.
Ruth Graham, the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, said, "It is the woman's job to love her husband; it's God's job to make him good." Submission isn't inferiority. In fact, in a sense, it's superiority. You are never more like Jesus than when you're in submission — and you're never more like the Devil than when you're in rebellion.
"Be in subjection to your own husbands that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives" (v. 1).
No man was ever nagged into being a Christian. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about nagging wives (see Proverbs 19:13 and 21:9).
Now this doesn't mean that a wife can't be a witness to her husband. It doesn't mean that a woman can't state her case during a disagreement. It doesn't mean that a woman can't make her desires known. She ought to do her best to influence her husband. But she is not to nag him.
A wife is to be so clean and so pure that her life speaks louder than her words. An unsaved husband with that kind of wife lives with a sermon! He eats with a sermon, sleeps with a sermon, talks with a sermon.
"Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (v. 3 4).
The New American Standard Bible translates this passage, "Let not your adornment be merely external." I'm glad for the word "merely." This passage simply says that ladies can have a ministry with their husbands only if their beauty goes deeper than external adornments.
Peter writes of a meek and quiet spirit. But meekness isn't weakness. This word "meek" described soldiers in the Roman army, who were under the command of headquarters. They weren't weak. It's also used to describe a wild stallion who has been trained to wear a bridle and harness. That stallion isn't weak. But it controls its strength and places it under its rider's authority. That takes more strength than running free.
And the word "quiet" doesn't mean mousy. It means "tranquility" or "serenity." There is a beautiful serenity about a strong woman who places herself under her husband's authority. It shows the presence of Jesus in her. It comes out in her speech and her actions.
Service is our last aspect of a godly woman. When Peter says in verse 6 that Sarah obeyed Abraham, he literally means that she met his needs. Sarah was Abraham's servant — not in the sense of a slave but in the sense of a helpmeet. Sarah met Abraham's emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. She completed him; she didn't finish him off! She was a bow to her husband's violin.
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